Important Information Regarding Housing Accommodations

Emmanuel College is committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of College life, including residential. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Emmanuel endeavors to provide housing accommodations for full-time undergraduate students with documented disabilities in cases where said disabilities render a standard housing situation inviable.

Eligibility for a housing accommodation includes full-time, undergraduate students who wish to live in College housing, are in good judicial and financial standing with the College, have submitted the Residence Life housing lease and deposit by the noted deadline, are currently registered as a full time student, have or are in the process of registering with Student Accessibility and Accommodations (SAA), and have needs that may medically necessitate a housing accommodation. Examples of such needs included students who require mobility assistance, extended apparatus, or invasive medical regimens. 

Determination of Reasonableness

The Housing Committee will determine on a case by case basis, if implementing the requested accommodation is reasonable. The Committee may deny the requested accommodation if it is unreasonable.

An accommodation is unreasonable if it: (1) imposes an undue financial and/or administrative burden on the College; (2) fundamentally alters the nature of the College’s operations; (3) poses a threat to the health and safety of others or would cause substantial property damage to the property of others, including College property; and/or (4) is otherwise unreasonable to the operation of the College.

Non-Qualifying Conditions

The following are examples of non-qualifying conditions, not a complete listing of non-qualifying conditions. Temporary, non-chronic impairments of seasonal or short duration (less than 6 months) with little or no residual effects that will not substantially limit a major life activity: common cold, seasonal or common influenza, a sprained joint, minor and non-chronic gastrointestinal disorders, a broken bone expected to heal completely, appendicitis, and seasonal allergies are usually not qualifying conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Qualifying conditions may include students who have mobility needs that cannot be met in a traditional room, students who have medical needs that involve extensive apparatus, or medicine regimens that may not be conducive in a traditional room.

AIR CONDITIONING: Please be advised that, generally speaking, central air conditioning in St. Julie Hall and Notre Dame Campus is turned off no later than the second week in October and individual air conditioning units in other residence halls are uninstalled at that time. Central air conditioning typically resumes around the second week of May. Seasonal allergies are usually not qualifying conditions under ADA. Students who require filtered air are permitted to bring in their own air purification devices. St. Joseph, St. Ann, and Loretto Halls have limited capacity for room air conditioning units. 

SINGLE ROOMS: Emmanuel’s student housing is primarily designed to house two or more students per bedroom. Some of our residence halls do offer a limited number of single rooms. As with all accommodation requests at Emmanuel, qualification for a single residence hall room will be evaluated on an individualized basis. Emmanuel has designed its residential program on the premise that a vibrant, social residence hall environment is fundamental to living and learning at Emmanuel.  As such, the request for a single room is utilized as an accommodation only when no other reasonable accommodation would allow a student to participate in our residential program as it is designed.

Steps to pursue housing accommodations:

1. Submission of Forms to SAA: To initiate the process of pursuing housing accommodations, the student should complete and email the Student Request Form to SAA. Also, the student's health care provider must complete the Provider Request Form and return it to SAA. *Please refer to the documentation deadlines below. SAA will obtain complete request packets to submit to the Housing Committee for review.

Appropriate documentation, as requested in the Provider Request Form, will include the following:

  • A clear diagnosis from a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate and diagnosis such conditions.  This professional may not be a member of the student’s family.

  • Description of the student’s history with the diagnosis.

  • Description of the functional impact and limitations of the disability/condition relative to an academic setting.

  • Current treatment plan, including medications.

  • Recommendation for accommodation(s). (Justification for why recommended accommodation is medically necessary. There must be a clear connection between the functional limitation(s) described and the recommended accommodation).

  • Documentation must be in English and signed and dated.

  • Initial documentation must be current, within one year.

2. Review by the Housing Committee: Complete request packets are sent to the Housing Committee, a team of professional staff from various campus departments.  The Committee will determine the feasibility of the request given the College’s available housing stock that would allow for certain physical and mental health accommodations. 

3. Outcome and Notification: First, SAA will email students to notify them of the Housing Committee’s decision regarding their eligibility. If an accommodation is available, Residence Life will then notify the eligible student a specific housing placement offer, via email. Any student determined ineligible by the Committee will also be informed and can participate in the regular housing selection. 

Eligibility is based on the documentation provided, specific accommodation requests, and the housing stock for such accommodations that is available at the College. Please note that requests may not be fulfilled due to either documentation and/or housing limitations.

Academic Year Housing Accommodation Deadlines 

*Students must reapply each academic year for housing accommodations. 

Current/Returning Students for 2023-2024 School YearFriday, March 3, 2023 by 2:00p.m. ET
Current/Returning Students for 2024-2025 School YearFriday, March1, 2024 by 2:00p.m. ET
Incoming/Transfer Students for 2024-2025 School YearMonday, June 24, 2024 by 2:00pm ET


All requests received after the noted deadline will be reviewed to determine eligibility typically on the last week of each month during the academic year; contact SAA for information on specific review dates. All request packets must be completed in full at least 5 working days before the review date. Following the review, eligible requests will be considered against the available housing inventory. 

  • A student who submits prior to the deadline and declines their housing accommodation offer will participate in the Standard Housing Selection Process through Residence Life.
  • A student who submits after the deadline and declines their offer will remain in their current Residence Life housing placement.

*Current students pursuing the exact housing accommodations for the following school year can indicate this request, along with their provider’s written statement, via email to accommodations [at] (accommodations[at]emmanuel[dot]edu). The Housing Committee will be considering exactly what was previously written. If any new recommendation or request, a new Housing Accommodation Request packet should be submitted.


  • Certain medical conditions may cause discomfort in a collegiate housing environment, but many medical conditions do not qualify as a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADDA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA) and may not be eligible for housing accommodations.
  • Housing accommodations are based upon medical evidence of need as determined by ADAA and FHA policies and guidelines and are determined on a case-by-case basis by a team of professionals.
  • Housing accommodation eligibility is not guaranteed. A student may be found ineligible for their requested housing accommodations following Committee review of documentation submitted by the student and their health care provider.  

  • Specific housing inventory is not guaranteed due to limited availability. Eligible students may be waitlisted if a suitable facility is not immediately available and will be contacted by Residence Life if a facility becomes available. 
  • A request should not name specific buildings, but rather describe an environment necessary for accommodating the student's needs. College housing offers limited single-occupancy rooms, mainly at Notre Dame Campus. For questions related to housing availability, contact Residence Life (reslife2 [at] directly. 

  • A housing accommodation request is for the individual student with the documented need and cannot consider roommates. Additionally, housing accommodation paperwork cannot cite roommate conflict as a basis for the request. Students experiencing a roommate conflict should contact Residence Life for information on mediation and room change options. 

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

An ESA is an indoor-appropriate animal that may provide psychological, mental, or emotional support to a student. ESA's are not trained and therefore do not perform work or tasks that would qualify them as "Service Animals" under ADAAA.

Typically, ESA's have a pre-established dynamic with the owner, which is throughly documented by a diagnosing mental health provider as a proven-therapeutic intervention for a student with a documented disability/impairment

ESA's, if approved, are allowed in the student's dwelling and are not allowed in any other buildings or facilities. Generally, only one ESA can be approved for a student in order to fulfill the intent of the FHA requirements in providing support to the student.

Student completes and submits:

  1. Student Request for Housing Accommodations Form
  2. Student ESA Information Form
  3. Owner/Handler Agreement
  4. Relevant veterinary documentation

Provider completes and submits:

  1. Health Care Provider Request for Housing Accommodations Form
  2. Provider ESA Specific Form

2023-2024 Academic Year Housing Accommodation Deadlines 

*Students must reapply each academic year for housing accommodations. 

Current/Returning Students for Fall '23 SemesterFriday, March 3, 2023 by 2:00p.m. ET
Incoming/Transfer Students for Spring '24 Semester:Friday, December 1st, 2023 by 2:00p.m. ET
Current/Returning Students for Fall 2024-Spring 2025 School Year:Friday, March 1st, 2024 by 2:00p.m. ET

For complete packets received before the noted deadline, the Housing Committee reviews request packets to determine eligibility and feasibility. Student Accessibility and Accommodations contacts students via email in regards to the Housing Committee's decision. 

All requests received after the noted deadline will be reviewed to determine eligibility typically on the last week of each month during the academic year; contact SAA for information on specific review dates. All request packets must be completed in full at least 5 working days before the review date. Following the review, eligible requests will be considered against the available housing inventory

Upon assignment, the student is expected to comply with all Residence Life requirements and behavior code policies regarding noise, cleanliness, and conduct. Students are solely responsible for their animal's behavior.

Certain animals will be excluded from consideration as an ESA and will be referred to as "excluded animals."

  • Excluded animals include: animals that are inherently dangerous or predatory (snakes, pythons, birds, etc.), large animals that exceed 30 lbs. at full-growth, and wildlife or endangered species (ferrets, etc.). 
  • Animals that require accoutrements that are not permitted in residential buildings (such as heat lamps, live insect food, etc.) will also be considered excluded animals.
  • Animals must be spayed or neutered as the species allows. Emmanuel College reserves the right to request documentation of the applicable procedure.
  • Generally, dogs must be at least 10 months of age before they can live in-residence College housing.
  • Other exceptions may be made as deemed appropriate based upon facility limitations and health and safety needs of the general community.

Emmanuel College may exclude an ESA from campus housing if the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the animal would cause substantial physical damage to property, the animal would pose an undue financial and administrative burden on the college, the animal would result in a fundamental alteration of the college's program(s); and/or the student does not comply with the guidelines set forth in the Owner's Responsibilities Contract.

In applying the above eligibility criteria, Emmanuel will be guided by the following "interpretive principles, rules and factors":

  • The student will have the responsibility of demonstrating, through documented Health Care Provider (HCP) opinion, testimony, and other evidence, that the student would not have been able to use and enjoy Emmanuel housing facilities "but for" the requested accommodation (having the ESA in the dorm room).
  • The student will have the responsibility of demonstrating through HCP opinion, testimony, and other evidence, that the animal is both necessary and reasonable for equal enjoyment and use of Emmanuel housing.
  • The student must demonstrate that no other means and methods (i.e. medication, counseling, other housing accommodations, other available interventions, crisis response mechanisms, or treatments) or combination of means and methods are available to adequately manage symptoms of his/her disability/impairment. If means and methods are available to the student to adequately manage symptoms of his/her disability/impairment, to a degree that the student with the aid of those other means and methods would be able to use and enjoy Emmanuel housing, then this accommodation would not be granted.

Note: These eligibility criteria are based primarily on the relevant provisions of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3604(f), and regulatory guidance provided by the US Department of Housing and Development in its Final Rule entitled "Pet Ownership for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities" published in the Federal register on October 27, 2008 (73 FR 63834).

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines service animals as "dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities." The institution may make two inquiries to determine whether the dog qualifies as a service animal, which are:

  • Is the animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

For Residential Students inquiring about a service animal, please contact accommodations [at] (accommodations[at]emmanuel[dot]edu) for further guidance. 

SAA Contact Information

Student Accessibility and Accommodations (SAA)
Email: accommodations [at] (accommodations[at]emmanuel[dot]edu)
Fax: 617-975-9322
Noelle Deady, Associate Director
gallin [at] (gallin[at]emmanuel[dot]edu)
Phone: 617-732-1681
Caroline Talton, Accommodations Coordinator
taltonc [at] (taltonc[at]emmanuel[dot]edu)
Phone: 617-735-9923
Student Accessibility and Accommodations (located within the Academic Resource Center)
Cardinal Cushing Library, G06 (Ground Level), 400 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115